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‘I was surprised’ – Julian Alvarez makes honest Pep Guardiola admission


Julian Alvarez recently spoke to GQ Magazine and revealed his “surprise” at Pep Guardiola’s selection policy at Manchester City, admitting he was shocked with how frequently he changes the starting eleven.

Ederson is the only player with a 100% Premier League appearance record this season while 16 players from the 21-man squad (Ederson, Alvarez, Kevin De Bruyne, Bernardo Silva, Rodri, Erling Haaland, Phil Foden, Ilkay Gundogan, Joao Cancelo, Riyad Mahrez, Nathan Ake, Jack Grealish, John Stones, Manuel Akanji, Ruben Dias, Kyle Walker) have played in 10 games or more.

Alvarez said: “I knew the way Pep works, but even I was surprised at how much rotation there is. Pep almost never picks the same 11 in consecutive games – you make sure you’re always alert and at 100 per cent so that when your time comes, you know you’re ready to perform.”

The 23-year-old has made 26 appearances in all competitions this season, scoring nine goals with two assists. Alvarez has been an unused substitute in the Premier League four times, been brought off the bench 11 times and started four times.

He’s only started two consecutive league games on one occasion (October 5’s 1-0 win over Leicester, November 5’s 2-1 win over Fulham), so Guardiola really has changed his team every week. It’s what led Oleksandr Zinchenko, Gabriel Jesus and Raheem Sterling to leave last summer and is what can frustrate the existing players, but Alvarez clearly understands Pep’s need to keep it fresh.

In other news, stats show why ‘disgruntled’ Kyle Walker isn’t starting, Pep Guardiola is right

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He joined from Newcastle in 2000 and left to join FC Sochaux in 2003

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Sports journalist who is an avid football fan, enjoys debunking transfer rumours, loves to write pieces about players out in the cold and takes a large amount of pride getting a predicted XI 100% correct.